FRANKFORT, Ky. - A non-partisan group is pushing for reforms to the way Kentucky draws its legislative districts.
The League of Women Voters of Kentucky wants a lawmaker to sponsor its Fair Maps Act.
The current redistricting process allows the majority party of state government to control how districts are drawn.
With the Census getting underway this year, League of Women Voters Of Kentucky President Fran Wagner said now is the perfect time to change that rule.
“For much of our country’s history, partisan gerrymandering has allowed legislators to pick their own voters rather than the other way around,” Wagner said. “That’s not the way it should be, which is why more and more states are putting this responsibility into the hands of unbiased people committed to making sure communities are preserved rather than split to fulfill a political goal.”
The League of Women Voters points to three problematic areas in particular: Kentucky Senate District 14, which includes a small portion of southeastern Jefferson County, along with Casey, Marion, Nelson and Spencer Counties; U.S. House District 1, which covers all of western Kentucky and portions of central Kentucky, despite those portions being mostly separated by U.S. House District 2; And several House districts divide Bowling Green.
If approved, a panel would draw a legislative map for lawmakers to consider, including House and Senate districts at the state and federal levels.
Lawmakers could ultimately still make their own map, though, if they reject the panel’s recommendations multiple times.
The panel would be made up of people picked by the legislative leaders and non-partisan applicants.
Wagner said 15 other states have similar redistricting commissions.